Do you have a goal for your English this year? Is there anything that you want to achieve (like passing an exam) or is your goal just to move up a level?
Here are three English goals – and some ways that you can achieve them.
To move up a level
Moving up a level in English will bring you lots of benefits. As you gradually improve your level, you’ll feel more confident, which means you’ll speak and write English more easily. You’ll hesitate less, and English will feel more natural to you.
How long does it take to move up a level?
Most English coursebooks take around 120 hours to complete – but you might need more or less time depending on various factors:
– how much of the time is active (rather than passive) learning – and how much of the time is “quality” study
– how much extra time you have for speaking, reading, listening or practising and reviewing new vocabulary, for example
– your environment (if people around you use English, you can progress quicker)
– your ability. For example, if you see “patterns” in grammar, you can learn quicker. If you’re naturally “good at” Maths or music, you might find languages easier.
– your mindset. If you accept your mistakes or if you accept that English is strange and sometimes illogical, you’ll spend more time learning and less time “fighting”!
How can you move up a level?
My best advice is to study consistently. 10-20 minutes a day – most, if not every day – concentrating on each area in turn. Make sure you spend time on grammar, vocabulary, listening, speaking – and in practising and reviewing.
Are there any short cuts?
Of course! Two of my favourites:
1. Recognise grammatical patterns and apply them
2. Learn fluency phrases (automatic phrases, collocations and phrasal verbs) to help you create an infinite number of sentences.
To correct English mistakes
When you’re already at a high level of English, you probably don’t need to spend a lot of time studying grammar. Instead, it’s worth trying to make lots of small improvements – something I call the 1% coaching method.
This is where you focus on the small improvements, which make a greater impact. You can use this method to correct mistakes that you always make or which are really noticeable. This is one goal where I suggest you work with an English teacher or coach.
To pass an exam
If your goal is to pass a Cambridge exam or to get a high mark in the IELTS, you should also make sure you understand the exam tasks. When you know what the examiner wants to see, it’s easier to get the right answer.
When you’re preparing for the exam, do as many practice exams as you can – as well as studying English!
Get fluent in 2021
English fluency is your passport to a better job and personal satisfaction. When you join the English Fluency Club, you get live group lessons, two complete fluency programs, and two personal lessons with me! Join now – before the price goes up!